Wednesday, December 23, 2015
I don't have a mother in law. I do but she's not here and hasn't been since before we got married. She only got to meet 3 of her 7 grandchildren. Only 2 of those 7 have any recollection of meeting her. She has a husband, 4 sons and tons of siblings, nieces, nephews, inlaws that all miss her terribly. Especially around the holidays.
So be grateful for your nagging mother in law. Some of us don't have one and our husbands, kids and ourselves are missing out on a wonderful lady. Some days I would give anything to have her tell me I am doing something the wrong way because that would mean my husband didn't lose his mother to cancer and my kids would know their grandma.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Ryan however doesn't want to go every year.
We had Dad's memorial.
Glad that is behind us.
Here is what we have to look forward to in 2016:
Serena is getting confirmed.
She is graduating grade school.
we have freshman night at Central next month
and then registration in March.
YIKES. where did the time go?
Xander doesn't have much going on other than telling me
oh yeah mom I signed up for basketball.
and I am still studying my Series 6 and 63.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Saturday, December 12, 2015
In the last week, I have read about over 100 phones being bought at various walmarts in Missouri.
You know the toss away, untrackable, used to detonate bombs type phones.
Then you read about propane tanks being stolen in Missouri.
Makes you wonder if something big is going to happen in the ShowMe state or is this a smoke screen so that FBI, and everyone else concentrates on Missouri while terrorist hit another city, like Chicago, which is on the list of cities to be hit.
Then you have photos floating around of men purchasing a mass amount of propane tanks in Florida (an unusual amount even for Florida).
And you have the article about terrorist using fake passports because they had access to blank ones and a passport printing machine.
I am doing a 5k tomorrow in St.Louis and I am going to Chicago next weekend. I can't tell you how many times it crossed my mind not to do the 5k and when I go to Chicago to go to Connie's and the suburbs, and not go to the zoo or to the german market. I hate living in fear but honest to god worried about what's next.
Friday, December 11, 2015
Thursday, December 10, 2015
psst...i know i never hated you. I just know as a teenager i was kind of an angry person and may have thought that that i didn't like you or you didn't like me, but we did love each other.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
I am one of those stepkids. I am one of those kids who had a stepparent growing up and he was probably the greatest thing that happened to us (at that time because nothing competes with my own kids or the day I got married). Growing up dad treated us as his own. We were never treated any differently and I cannot recall one time where we were introduced as his stepkids unless it was a member of his family introducing us to people and then it was this is Kenny's stepdaughter.
Divorce or relationship changes happen frequently now and 90% of the time there are kids in involved. So here is my message to anyone that is a parent to someone else's kids.
1) don't have the mentality that they are not yours, so not your "problem". Love them unconditionally as you do your spouse because that "child" is your spouse's blood.
2) do not treat them differently than your child or even the child(ren) you have with your spouse. There is no room for favorites or games. This child as strengths and weaknesses just as your other children do. It's your job to help them find their strengths and fix their weaknesses.
3) INCLUDE THEM. I cannot stress this enough. Even when my parents were dating, I remember being taken to the movies. Just the four of us. It was nice. He took us to six flags on several occasions, family vacation to Texas or day trips to the zoo, arch or caverns. I remember getting to tag along on his bus runs for Zee in the charter buses. And never once was I called his stepdaughter or his wife's daughter. I was his daughter.
4) Don't make them feel like they have to choose. No child should have to choose favorites. Dad, despite knowing some of the hardships my mom faced with our dad, never tried to replace our dad.
Even as grownups, Connie introduces us as her daughters. Not Jim's daughter's. It's refreshing to not be a step....
Thursday, October 29, 2015
So I am 205.6 but that's 3 pounds lighter than when I started 2 months ago and that's fully clothed so I will take it. I feel a difference. Still haven't jumped on the it works band wagon. Have products I can use but I forget to take pills. period.
Monday, October 19, 2015
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Sorry took so long to post. I took my weight and measurements like usual on Sunday and then felt like crap the last two days and never got on to post the results.
So those keeping track I am down 8.5 pounds of my 68 pound goal. I have made it 12.5% into my goal and I have lost 4% of my weight in 4 weeks. Small progress, but I will take it.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
But the next day I woke up to a call from Connie that we lost my dad. I remember it took me a minute to process the information. I thought at first that she meant she physically lost him because he was getting confused and got out of the apartment. Then it dawned on me...he was gone. Dad died on 9/11. I called Ryan home from work, I told Serena and we cried. I didn't know what to tell Xander because he wouldn't understand. I remember telling him that he was not going to school and that we were going to Chicago. He said Yay, we can see Grandpa Jim. I had to explain to him that grandpa wouldn't be there because he died. I remained composed, until he cried then we cried some more. I went into work to talk to my manager and get things situated before leaving for a couple days. We left around 9 a.m. and were there by 2 p.m. I remember the generosity of everyone when we got there. Seeing dad's maintenance guys or the parking attendants cry is something I will never forget. Ever. The generosity of Hawthorne House employees and residents was overwhelming.
I have a ton of people to thank for getting me through that time and will probably miss a few, but you know who you are.
This year has been hard. A lot of firsts without him. A lot more to come. I always took it for granted that he would be here to see Serena graduate grade school, high school and college. She graduates high school in 8 months and he won't be there. A lot that he is going to miss.
I think about him all the time and miss him more than words can say.
Here's my post from a year ago.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
Monday, September 7, 2015
Starting weight: 208.5
Week 1 - 203.5
Week 2 - 203.5
Week 3 - 201
Yep you read that right. I am down to 201. Almost under the 200 mark and it feels incredible.
Next week I will be taking measurements!
I know not everyone cares about my progress but posting for the few that do and for those that don't you don't have to read my blog.
Considering doing the hot chocolate run in December. Who's with me?
On another note, today is a year ago that I hugged my dad for the last time. Told him that I loved him for the last time. And was the beginning of an emotional week that I was not mentally prepared for.
I love you dad. Our relationship was far from perfect but it was what it was and was a huge part of who I am. I think what I cherished most is the fact that you and I could have frank conversations about the past. You never denied or hid the things that went wrong or discounted how hard mom worked to raise us. You never took credit for the way we turned out. You, at the best of times, had respect for my other dad. Our relationship came a long way and I wouldn't change anything other than having you around a little longer.
Friday, September 4, 2015
I got through the 1st chapter of my study guide. Only 4 or 5 more to go, and these bad boys to study with. Serena laughed at me last night when I said can you grab my book bag. She goes....ha, that's funny. And Xander earlier this week, I said Xander, is your homework done? He responded: Is YOURS? really kid.
That kid is going to give us a run for our money! He failed a pretest this week because he was distracted. He said by a fly. Ms. R said by the boys around him so she moved him.
So I will limit my facebook time and maybe not post daily but will try to post blogs. Trying to limit my extra activities too which right now with soccer and band coming up my schedule is fuller than I would like, so if I decline doing something, take no offense.
Have a great Labor Day weekend.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
I forgot to post my weekly results this week.
They are pretty lame. Good news is I didn't gain....bad news is I didn't lose.
That being said I am going to try giving up facebook. It's a huge timewaster. I am going to try to check in once or twice a week because I am in charge of a craft and vendor fair and get a lot of hits from facebook. I am also going to still post me daily features of the crafters and vendors starting next week but going to try to not respond to Facebook posts or scroll through my wall.
I need to focus on:
1) passing my series 6 and 63;
2) my kids' school, band and soccer schedules;
3) our house - outside renovations
4) my weight
5) my marriage
There is a ton more I need to work on but these 5 are my top priorities.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
I finally got a letter from the facility. I already knew from his death certificate he was sent to St. Louis. I found out that during the 8 weeks they had his body they used him for surgical purposes. They did a shoulder surgery and a hip replacement.
So there you have it. He helped someone or a lot of someones. His body was too cancer ridden to do organ donation but he will help someone, someday. Might be a baseball player, or maybe your grandpa. But dad's whole body donation helped someone and times like now...it makes me smile.
Miss you dad.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
I am also going to make some "healthy" fudge. Oxymoron, I know as my sister pointed out. However, it is relatively healthy. and only 5 ingredients, 6 if I put the Peanut Butter in it. I can't wait to make it and more importantly, can't wait to try it.
Tomorrow I weigh in. Not feeling too fantastic about this week but we'll see.
People have asked what I am doing and whether I considered using any products, like itworks. Now I don't doubt they work, because I have seen all of the pictures of it working....NOW. My fear is those are temporary fixes and a big part of any weightloss whether with or without products is diet and exercise so until I get that part of my life straightened out, I won't get anywhere using product, or I will temporarily. So that being said I have decided not to use any products. I have some and maybe in a few months when I hit that brick wall and get in a rut so I am not going to say I won't use any ever. Just for now, I am doing it this way. I may need that extra oomph later, but for now I need to change my lifestyle otherwise I will just go back to the bad habits. So until then I think I need to change habits and get into a better, healthier mindset. Because I know those products will only work if I change my diet and exercise. If I don't, those products will be a waste of money. I feel like if I start using the products and I am not in a healthy eating habit, I will just go back to eating crap. I know I need to change my mindset and my ways in order to lose. Am I going to cheat a little? Definitely. Will I get discouraged at times? Absolutely. Will I be doing it for the right reasons and giving it my best show? Positively. And that's all I can do.
I am not happy with my body. Haven't been in a while and instead of doing something about it, I keep doing the same thing I have always done and wonder why I weight 203.5 pounds. I KNOW I can lose it. I KNOW I NEED to lose it. Now I NEED to just DO it. I need to make better choices and work on being healthier, happier and skinnier for me. No one else wants it, and no one else cares if I am a size 16 or a size 8. BUT I CARE. And my caring is affecting me, I think because I am not happy, then people around me care about my size. My husband is supportive and has never complained about my weight. He has complained about me complaining about my weight and how crappy I feel and not doing anything about it to lose it. So for myself I am putting forth effort to be healthy, happy and skinny. I NEED THIS FOR ME.
And as far as why I am sharing this with the world wide web. Mainly, for accountability. But a huge part is also for motivation. When I get in my rut, I will come back to these first few posts and remind myself how bad I want and need to lose this weight.
Until the next time....
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
On another note, I found out today that a letter I have been waiting on for about 4 weeks is coming in the very near future. It was mailed today! It feels like longer than 4 weeks. Feels like I have been waiting a year for it.
Found out this week serena more than likely has sports induced asthma. HUGE thank you to the nurse who was the game and walked her through it on the sidelines. We now have an inhaler and have appts to have tests done to confirm the diagnosis. She has practice and games between now and the tests so they prescribed an inhaler to use in case it happens again.
Serena is LOVING soccer, other than the 10 minutes she felt like someone was crushing her chest.
Xander is still well Xander. He likes the idea of soccer and changes his mind daily and whether or not he likes it.
Monday, August 24, 2015
That's progress. That's just changing my diet slightly and a few walks in there. I need to get more active and make a few more diet changes and I am sure I will see a lot more progress.
That's also what I weighed on Friday when I cheated and checked my weight so I didn't lose any over the weekend BUT more importantly I didn't gain anything. That's with drinking with mom on Friday night, out to get on Saturday night AND ice cream with the kids yesterday. Yep I was horrible this weekend but I wasn't stressed. And also I understand I can do things in moderation. Now I need to work harder this week so the wine, the pork steak and the concrete don't stay with permanently.
So until next week....
Friday, August 21, 2015
Only 63.5 more pounds to go until my goal weight.
I need to get out there and exercise. It's been a bad week and I know every week can be a bad week if I let it. I need to out each night even if it's just for a 20 min. power walk. Something to get moving. I am horrible about going alone. I hate walking alone. Maybe I should use my ipod more and go alone.
And I might breakout the just dance this weekend. That has helped me before. An hour of just dance and your legs feel like jello, but it's fun so it doesn't feel like a workout.
Wish me luck!
Also going to see a dermatologist for the first time today. That's kind of scary. Just for a check because never had my skin checked.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
I have not exercised much this week, but just changing some of my eating habits I feel 100 times better.
I eat peanut butter toast for breakfast, grapes for mid a.m. snack, salad (in a jar) for lunch and frozen great value fruit for afternoon snack. I eat a normal dinner with my family. I drink nothing but water right now. Trying to increase my water intake. I really hope to completely give up soda. I have done it so many times and I always go back to it.
Here's to getting skinnier, healthier and happier.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
I am cutting out soda (again) as of today. I want to get back in a routine of walking and bike riding and even some just dance routines (yes those helped me before).
I need this weight gone. This is for me and no one else.
So here it is people....starting weight:
Why am I putting these numbers out there? For accountability. I hope to be able to post weekly changes in the right direction. And I hope to pick up some encouragement and strength along the way.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
We stayed at the Jacksonville Plaza Hotel in Jacksonville, FL and would not recommend it to anyone. The shuttle package was not what it was explained to be over the phone and the front desk person was a snot and that's putting it nicely. The bed was good, the room was clean but quite frankly hotels that offer the shuttle are a dime a dozen down there so nothing that is really going to draw me back there.
We went to Little Talbot Island and hunted seashells. Serena found a shark tooth and xander found a jellyfish (quite a few actually). He wanted to bring one back to his teacher but I talked him into a seashell instead.
We ate at Sticky Fingers which I would give 5 stars. We arrived there about 15 min before closing so I went in to see if it would be a problem to get food that late. The hostess said absolutely not so we went in. Everyone was very pleasant, the food was good, service was great and the price was not outrageous. I would definitely go back.
Faster to the Fun: Worth every penny. It's $50 per cabin. And gets you onboard faster. We arrived at 12:30 and were in our room by 1. It also gets your room available faster. You get priority guest services. If you go to tender ports, it gets you priority tender too.
Assigned Time Dining: We chose the 6 p.m. dining vs. 8:15 because we knew Xander would not last until 8:15. We did not choose the anytime dining because I wanted the experience of having the same family with us and same waiters. The dining experience was great. Food was phenomenal. Our only complaint was one family at our table showed up late one night so our food was held for 20 min. we were late getting out of dinner and late to a show we wanted to see and almost missed it entirely because they put up the capacity sign as we were walking in.
Punchliner Comedy Club - This is held in one of the other clubs (so don't look for a club called Punchliner when you board. On the Fascination, it was held in the Puttin on the Ritz. We saw one comedian, The Fryman, and he was awesome and from St. Louis. His humor was kind of crude but funny and we enjoyed it. He had a pg show but it was borderline.
Bubbles Package: We did not get this package. I think it's $6/day/person. However we brought our soda on and I don't drink Coke products so it was useless. Not to mention they had water, lemonade and tea accessible.
Cheers Program: $50/day/person for each 21 year old in the cabin. For us, light (social) drinkers it was not worth it. We would need to drink at least 8 drinks to break even. 10 in ryan's case. Neither one of us drink that much in a normal basis so it would have been stupid to try to do it on vacation. So we did not buy this program.
Sea Sick: I brought peppermint oil on the ship and applied it to Xander frequently. I used it the minute I felt queasy and we were both fine. Ryan never had an issue and well Serena said she felt fine until about 5 min before she got sick so it was too late to apply oil. Medicine from the front desk was useless but she wouldn't be able to keep it down. The seabands from the store on the ship worked until the last day (sea day) when the waters were really rough.
Circle C - This is the club for kids serena's age (12-14). They met usually starting around 4 p.m. each day and had activities planned until 1 a.m. It usually ended each night with pizza and/or ice cream social. They played board games (apples to apples), had wii dance off, digital scavenger hunts, and regular scavenger hunts.
Camp Carnival - This is the club for Xander's age (2-11, which was split into 2-5 and 6-11). They met from 9 a.m to 10 p.m. for free then Nightowl started at 10 p.m. for $7/hour/kid. Some nights they had special parties starting at 10 that cost $20 a person (glow in the dark). They did a movie one night in a conference room. They had two dance parties in a nightclub with soda. They also would serve the kids dinner in there if you didn't want them in the main dining room with you. The security was great. They knew our names but still requested to see our sail and sign cards before giving xander to us. He loved it there. So much we let him go there instead of off the ship with us in Freeport.
Hasbro Game Show - This was entertaining to watch. They get audience participation so sit down near the stage and get excited.
Pictures - They take your picture for everything! Getting onboard, getting off, getting back on, every night in the dining room, at about 8 different backdrops each night before dining, at Carnival excursions, so be prepared to spend a ton or be strong willed and don't even think about trying to take a picture of a picture. They will catch you. I didn't try it but saw people who did.
Sail and Sign - This is your ticket to EVERYTHING on the ship. It gets you in your room. Pays your bar tab. works on the arcade machines, bought our pictures, etc. While on the ship we left our cash and cards in the safe in the cabin. Our sail and signs were on lanyards like these. I got them from 5 and below. We had one that didn't have the detachable clip and Xander wore it. He rarely needed to swipe his (just when boarding and debarking). These made using your cards easier. You didn't have to take the whole lanyard off your neck, you unclipped, swiped and clipped.
power strip. You have to bring one that does not say surge protector on it or have a surge butotn. However, we used this one and it wasn't taken. You have an outlet in the bathroom and one by the desk. The one in the bathroom is not even strong enough for a hair dryer. We were told by the steward to do our hair by the desk. Some say this is not necessary to bring one on. We were glad we did. While we didn't use our phones as phones for the week I did use mine as a clock, an alarm and a camera. The battery didn't drain that fast because of being in airplane mode but it was nice to charge every day. We also had our camera to charge, plus doing hair (dryer, curling iron, etc)
Over the door shoe hanger - These work perfectly over the bathroom door and are excellent storage. The rooms are tiny. These held all of our meds, bathroom supplies, first aid kit, room spray, etc. This is not my picture. I stole it from the net.
Room Spray: Yep. Your room is the size of a shoe box. Smells tend to linger so we brought a beachy smelly room mist from BBW.
Norwex Enviro cloth. I brought a travel size along. Cabins are known to be germy despite their cleaning between cruises. So just in case I wiped everything with one of these. And we were spared any gastro viruses, etc.
Peppermint oil - AWESOME for motion sickness. Worked for me and X.
water shoes- we used these to walk our first port. because we were doing the beach that day too. it's kind of rocky on some beaches.
Thirty One Slingback backpack - This was great on the ship and in ports. I used this and had camera, phone, first aid, peppermint. I used a black cross body purse for the dining room at night and our nights on the ship without the kids.
Jamberry wraps. These are super easy to apply even on a moving ship. Painting our nails in the room would have been a nightmare. Between the constant moving and the small confined spaces (again smells).
Cups with lids - These were great for the soda we brought onboard as well as for the water, lemonade and tea on lido.
Quarters if you wish to use the washers/dryers. I did this to avoid a ton of laundry on mother's day when we returned. Sea Days it is impossible to get a washer/dryer.
Bring a jacket or sweater. It's chilly in the dining room and on lido at night. They have shampoo and bodywash in the showers. However, we brought conditioner as the shampoo seems to be drying.
We also brought highlighters to mark the fun times with what wanted to do, a dry erase board and marker to communicate in the cabin with each other and the room steward, duct tape (this came in handy a few times).
Other tips would be to take a picture of your luggage. This helped us track ours down when it didn't show up with other priority luggage.
I brought baby powder (helps get sand off) and wet wipes (kept in bag at port). We didn't bring beach towels. We used the carnival ones. Just keep track of them because they got like $20 each if not returned. We also brought Xander's life jacket (puddle jumper), plastic bags for wet stuff and 2-3 swimsuits per person, plus tanks, shorts, etc for during the day and then nicer clothes for dinner. I wish I could pack lighter but i didn't want to be without anything and be forced to pay triple the price in their shops. Like for the seabands for Serena, which we didn't bring and will bring next time.
We had trip insurance through travelguard for $116 total. This covered medical in case something would happen (most US medical insurance is not valid outside the US).
We also prepaid our gratuities so that expense was taken care of.
Bring a "dead" gift card for the older ships that have the swipe type safe. The newer ships have keypads. The older ones have a swiper thing for your credit card or sail and sign. However, saw lots of review about it demagnetizing them so we used a gift card and hid in in the room so that the other person still had access to safe if you were not around.
Friday, August 7, 2015
That's a big number.
That's an even bigger number.
What do these numbers mean? Well it's been 329 days since we lost my dad. 333 days since I last got to see him.
Here's some more numbers.
That's how many Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.
That's how many will die this year from oral cancer.
Not only is that the year my dad was born and how old he was when he died. It's also the percentage of American's who survive oral cancer for 5 years.
That's how many days from the date of my dad's diagnosis until the day he left us.
That is Serena's goal for this year.
is where we currently are.
That's today's date. Clinton County Relay is tonight.
That's what time you can see survivors make that victorious lap.
is when the luminaria ceremony is.
Come join us. Donate to our team if you wish. Walk for someone you know. Remember everyone who battles.
Saturday, May 9, 2015
A detailed review will come later. Here are some observations and just fun facts about our cruise.
1) there was a jansen onboard from breese, il.
2) our comedian was from st. Louis, mo. I hope to see him sometime again. He was funny.
3) if you can get past the structure of eating at 6 pm doing reservations are worth it. We had a good relationship with our wait staff...wasudon, Nazer and leonoldo. And Stan the man was awesome too.
4) hasbro game show is worth it.
5) punchline comedy was worth it.
6) xander did not get sick from car or sea...but serena had a miserable time on both sea days.
7) evidently tropical storm anna tried joining our party few times and made for rough waters....the ocean had speed bumps!
8) Loved our cruise entainers. Our assistant cruise director was phenomenonal...CD was pretty good...but ryan was my favorite.
9) the dr. Seuss features were great.
10) loved nassau. ...freeport was sketchy
I will do a review with pics later.
Edited to add I love camp carnival and circle c.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
We have done car trips (not 14 hours) but I am not really worried about that.
I just want any tips you can give us for while we are on the cruise. I already know a few-
-Pack an insulated cup for water and bring water enhancers (mio, crystal light, etc)
-decorate your door
-bring surge protector
-don't bring beach towels
-bring over the door shoe organizer for bathroom (thanks tanya)
-bring anything you think you might need (meds, hygiene products, etc) because it's expensive on the ship
-bring lanyards or ask the casino for some
-use velcro straps to wrap charging cords
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
or Xander would have enjoyed that.